Capitals coach Barry Trotz acknowledged Monday that when he learned checking-line center Jay Beagle would miss six weeks because of hand surgery, he and general manager Brian MacLellan discussed the possibility of going outside the organization to fill the void left by the versatile veteran.
“I talked to Mac right away,” Trotz said. “Mac usually says, ‘What do you think? Do we need to do something? Can we do something internally? What are your thoughts?’”
Trotz said he believes a team should always look to promote from within before resorting to trading for a player or signing a free agent.
“Don’t mis-take what you have in hand,” he said. “And then we look outside the box, whether it’s with other teams or other fits out there.”
For now, Marcus Johansson has been moved from second-line left wing to third-line center, allowing Andre Burakovsky (3 goals, 6 assists in 35 games) the opportunity to boost his offensive production as a second-line left wing.
But if Trotz and MacLellan see the need to acquire a player outside the organization, don’t be surprised if 6-foot-6, 226-pound Arizona Coyotes center Martin Hanzal is on their list, along with former Los Angeles Kings center and current free agent Mike Richards.
“It’s a process you go through,” Trotz said. “Right now, center ice is an area where we look at Zach Sill, Michael Latta and Brooks Laich all in that role. Obviously, we’ve put JoJo in the mix, too. You look to do it internally if we can. If not, we’ll be proactive in doing something externally if we can. That’s usually the process.”